Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has invited bids for a second power distribution licence in Mumbai which is currently held by Tata Power Co. Ltd.
Tata Power's licence ends on 15 August.
Currently, Mumbai is served by three distribution utilities—municipal undertaking Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport or BEST, Tata Power, and Reliance Infrastructure Ltd.
According to a 2008 Supreme Court verdict, Tata Power has distribution licence for Colaba in the south to Mahim in the north and from Nariman Point in the south to Saion in north, served exclusively by BEST. However, BEST does not want Tata Power to enter the island city by claiming that, under the Electricity Act 2003, a municipal undertaking enjoys monopoly in its licence area. BEST and Tata Power are fighting out the issue in the apex court.
Since the apex court recognized the right of Tata Power in 2008 to enter into retail power distribution business, it has managed to lure 414,000 consumers from Reliance Infrastructure.
According to MERC's tender notice, out of the 414,000 consumers of Tata Power, 87% are domestic consumers, 11% are commercial consumers and 2% are industrial consumers.